Sound Produced: 7.1
Primary Systems: Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3
Connection Method: Digital Optical, USB (power, chat for PS3), Xbox 360 chat cable
The Tritton 720+ 7.1 is an amalgam of a couple of different Tritton products we’ve looked at in the past. The headset is nearly identical in form factor to the AX Pro+, which we just shared with you yesterday. The in-line connector and decoder box appear to be very similar to the Ghost Recon Future Soldier 7.1 (though without the braided cord). The 720+ appears to replace the Ghost Recon 7.1 that, according to the company’s website, is no longer available. It features a slightly less-impressive microphone in terms of quality (though far more friendly in terms of adjustment) and lacks some of that unit’s feature set. It sounds just as nice, using the same 50mm speakers and selectable game/media toggle on the decoder box.
What’s in the box?
- Headset with in-line volume control
- Removable microphone
- Dolby Digital decoder box
- Xbox Live communication cable x2 (one cable, one cable with puck)
- Digital audio adapter
- Optical cable
- USB cable
Aesthetics and Durability
The first thing I noticed when removing the key pieces of the 720+ from the well-packaged box was the striking glossy white the covers most of the headset exterior and the top of the decoder box. While it most certainly picks up fingerprints (though not as bad as black gloss finish), it gives the unit a distinct look and feel. The white is offset by a black stripe and the Tritton name on the top of the headband along with red accents in the form of the brand logo on the ear cups and top of the decoder.
The cups aren’t rounded, nor are they perfectly square, featuring smart angles that prevent the unit from appearing too boxy. The underside is pure black from the softer plastic of the non-padded segments to the leatherette of the ear and head cushioning. The in-line volume control is comfortable and well-designed. On the face is a toggle for microphone mute. The sides offer up chat volume with the selective voice monitoring (SVM) toggle (which pumps your own voice into the mix to help moderate your speaking volume), game volume and mute and a port for the Xbox Live chat cable.
The adjustment points are a tad bit loose for my taste. It’s more an issue of keeping them in place in between uses rather than slipping while on my head. Still, I prefer having my headset ready to wear without the need for fitting every time I put it on. Overall, this is an attractive headset with a well-designed control unit.
Ease of Setup and Use
Setup is extremely easy. The rear of the device has ports for digital optical and USB. These should be connected to your console. For Xbox Live chat, there is a port on the in-line control device that will lead to your gamepad. The front of the decoder box offers a port for the headset. The power button serves also as a master volume dial. The Dolby button right next to it can be pressed to cycle through surround sound gaming, surround sound media and stereo options.
If you like using a non-standard controller, you should appreciate that Tritton has packed in two different chat options for Xbox Live (one with a puck and one without). Additionally, there is an adapter for original configuration Xbox 360 units that allow you to use HDMI output with digital optical audio. One thing that this company knows is convenience. All of these little pack-ins ensure that you’ll be ready to use this headset right out of the box.
The trickiest part of the whole setup (once I had the manual in-hand) was getting the microphone to stay where it belongs. The stem locks into the headset and can be removed when not in use. I had a bit of trouble finding the right place to start from, which led to me thinking it was connected and secured when it wasn’t. This also happened with the AX Pro+.
Sound Quality and Performance
I mentioned earlier that the drivers are identical to those used in the Ghost Recon Future Soldier 7.1. The sound produced through them is equally impressive. Despite the larger 50mm drivers, distortion is minimal regardless of whether I was gaming or watching a movie. Again though, the bass isn’t quite as substantial as some other headsets. This might be a blessing in disguise, as too much on the low end through larger drivers would cause fuzziness.
As it was, the sound is crisp and clear across ranges. The design of the headset creates a good closed environment that helps accentuate the highs and lows. If someone attempts to have a conversation with you while you’re playing, you’re going to need to take these off.
Ultimately, the sound output was consistent across titles, which is good since you have very little control over the equalization. This model is perfect for those that don’t want to fiddle with too much, preferring an easy to setup system with a pure and full tonal quality.
Just as with the AX Pro+, the SVM is a little too sensitive, leading me to shut it off when I knew I wouldn’t have to converse with anyone in-person or in-game. I love the flexibility of the microphone, but it definitely picks up a bit too much ambient noise. It’s not a huge problem if you typically game without the intrusion of kids or pets (or where there is an operating fan).
Earlier, I mentioned that I wished the adjustment points had a bit more rigidity to them, holding their shape between uses. The reason for this is largely in part due to the sparse padding on the headband. Where many headsets offer cushioning across a wide swath of the center, the 720+ is skimpy, only covering a narrow section. With four drivers in each ear adding to the weight, this is one area that should have been beefed up. It’s not that what’s there isn’t enough, rather it takes a bit of jiggling to make sure that narrow pieces is what’s in contact with your skull (and not hard plastic).
The leatherette-covered ear cushions are extremely comfortable, and definitely get the job done over extended gaming sessions. The 720+ is a bit lighter than the AX Pro+ (as you would expect given the difference in driver count), which only goes to increase the comfort. I was already impressed with the heavier four-driver unit, so its no surprise that the identical form factor at a lower weight is comfortable to me.
The positioning and comfort of the in-line control unit is superb. I typically dislike it when these are on the bulky side, as they tend to weigh things down a bit on one side. Again, I was pleasantly surprised. The unit is easy to use, and the volumes and mutes can be adjusted without looking while playing.
At $150, the 720+ is one of the least expensive surround sound options in the RipTen Gaming Headset Buyer’s Guide.
None. Everything you need is in the box.
There are some slight missteps in the design of the 720+, but spending a few minutes before each use to find the proper fit will help improve the experience. If you are firm on your budget and don’t want to spend any more than $150, this is a great option. If you have a bit of wiggle room and are willing to increase your investment by $50, it’s worth looking at the AX Pro+. There is a marked difference between virtual and true surround that makes the additional expenditure worthwhile if you can afford it.